Oregon is missing the international Geo-tourism Train
Geotourism is “Geotourism is tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place – its environment, heritage and the well-being of its residents.”
National Geographic Society has been promoting various Geotourism developments around America and NatGeo even offer a video on the future of travel in the USA!
People in Oregon and Washington independently has started a Geotourism promotion project (http://thecentralcascades.com/ working with the National Geographical Society and NATGEO produces Cascade Mountain tour guides/maps for them:
“The sheer beauty and grandeur of the Central Cascades of Oregon and Washington will make any visitor give pause. But the many stories resting in the region’s foothills, high desert and mountain communities will inspire you to linger and explore. The National Geographic Society has collaborated with community members of the Central Cascades to illuminate the places and experiences that residents think are special. Some of the special qualities that define the Central Cascades are explored below.”
For more insight; here is a National Geographic Geotourism Video about exploring our human heritage finding old coins along the rugged Snake River of South-west Idaho:
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These USA promotions of the Cascade’s geologic insights are a good start for the Cascade Mountain rural communities; but why not go international?
The Global Network of National Geoparks, commonly referred to as Global Geoparks Network (GGN), is an international, non-governmental, non-profit and voluntary network, which provides a platform of cooperation among Geoparks, brings together government agencies, non-governmental organizations, scientists, and communities from all countries around the world in a unique worldwide partnership and operates according to UNESCO regulations....
UNESCO is an acronym for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
“The GGN mission is to influence, encourage and assist local societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of abiotic and biotic nature, to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and sustainable and to support economic and cultural development of local communities through the valorisation of their unique heritage and identity. It seeks to enhance the value of such sites while at the same time creating employment and promoting regional and local economic development.”
Under the umbrella of UNESCO and through cooperation with the global network partners, important geological sites gain worldwide recognition and benefit from an exchange of knowledge, expertise, experience and staff between other Geoparks. This international partnership developed by UNESCO, allows members to profit from a worldwide exchange of experience among members, as compared to being a local isolated initiative.
The network comprises all regions of the world and brings together groups that share common values, interests, or backgrounds following a specific concept and management process. It further serves to develop models of best practice and set quality- standards for territories that integrate the preservation of geological heritage in a strategy for regional sustainable economic development.
The Global Network of National Geoparks operates in close synergy with UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) World Network of Biosphere Reserves, national and international undertakings and non-governmental organizations active in geological heritage conservation.
Research shows someone in the Tetons of Wyoming is the only American community petitioning to join this world-wide, geo-tourism promotion program
“For Geoparks in Europe, UNESCO has established a privileged partnership with the European Geoparks Network (EGN). As a result the EGN acts as the regional division of GGN in Europe. UNESCO recommends the creation of similar regional Networks, reflecting local conditions, elsewhere in the world.
Networking and collaboration among Geoparks is an important component of the Global Network of National Geoparks. UNESCO encourages any form of cooperation especially in the fields of education, management, tourism, sustainable development, regional planning among Network members.
You can download the Guidelines and Criteria for National Geoparks seeking UNESCO’s assistance to join the Global Geoparks Network from the UNESCO website”.
The devil is in the details; so I insert highlights of the first three International conference to see where this “Global Geoparks Network is headed and to clarify if Oregonian’s should join the Earth promotion of Geotourism and education.
The “First International Conference on Geoparks” was held in Beijing, China from 27 to 29 June 2004, in order to promote the establishment of a worldwide network of national Geoparks with the contributions from the international governmental and non-governmental community.
In October 2004 during the 5th European Geoparks Meeting held in Petralia Sottana, Madonie Geopark, a new agreement between the Division of Earth Sciences of UNESCO and the European Geoparks Network was officially signed.
The International Conference on Geoparks is held every two years.
1st International Conference on Geoparks
organized by the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR), P.R.China and UNESCO and the in Beijing, 27-29 June 2004
"The overall goal of this conference was to demonstrate that important geological or geo-morphological landscapes, included in Geoparks, might serve as excellent tools for educating the general public in geo-environmental matters and developing Geotourism. Gaining a healthy, sustainable economic development on a local and regional scale needs as a prerequisite also a better understanding and management of our geo-heritage; to facilitate this, an increased dissemination of the geo-scientific knowledge has to be foreseen in order to teach and remind the people to cherish humanity’s only living place (the earth)."
The 2nd Global Geoparks Conference was held in Belfast in September 2006.
"This new and exciting concept, namely the creation of a European Geoparks Network, was based on the view that the “in situ memory of landscape which every inhabitant of a region has” can be used to secure the future through the development of “geo and economic / tourism”. The success of the project is a tribute to the creativity, patience, strength and enthusiasm of members within a growing network to work together with a common aim."
The conference demonstrated the need for communication between politicians, tourist providers, economic consultants and geoscientists. It was a pleasure to discuss ideas and share practical experiences with colleagues from participating Geoparks and to consider the diverse views expressed on the future development of the Geopark concept raised in oral presentation and in workshop discussions. Many of us benefited by discussing, in a wider forum, and ideas concerning geological heritage arising from the management strategies of Geoparks and of existing World Heritage Sites, and from current and proposed collaborations between Geoparks. It became clear from the meeting that we still have a long way to go in progressing our common future on planet Earth under the aegis of “geosciences and landscape for the future of human society” to “meet the needs of future generations” both for a stable society and for sustainable economic development.
It was a privilege in the “Geoparks Celebration” in Belfast. Landscape and geosciences are not boring, dirty and dead!
3rd International Conference on Geoparks
organized by TerraVita Geopark in Osnabruck, Germany,
The conference in 2008 in Osnabrueck was embedded in the “International Year of Planet Earth 2008″ (IYPE), proclaimed by the United Nations. For this initiative the conference in Osnabrueck can play a major role in communicating the global objectives.
The key themes of the International Year have been decided by a panel of world experts and assembled by the Year’s Science Programme Committee. A selection of these themes, such as “Earth and Health”, “Resource’s issues – towards sustainable use”, and “Soil – Earth’s living skin”, have been explored in workshops and sessions during the Osnabrueck conference, while the main focus of the Year, “Outreach – bringing Earth sciences to everyone”, was stressing our main conference theme “Communication”.
By working in partnership with the largest environmental foundation, The Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) and its Centre for Environmental Communication in conjunction with the two Universities of Osnabrueck this conference had a solid financial basis and were guaranteed the broad scientific background for its main theme “Communicating Earth Heritage”.
Here are three brief reasons Oregonians should consider partnerships with this new international Geotourism promotion called the “Global Network of National Geoparks”
Mt.Huangshan Is a Good Example to the World: UN Expert
Pub Date: 12-06-18 11:01 Source: www.cnanhui.org
“A United Nations (UN) tourism expert hailed Mountain Huangshan as a good example of sustainable tourism to the world.”
Brian Mullis, an expert from the UN Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), made the remark on a visit to Mt.Huangshan, on behalf of the organization, to evaluate its efforts on developing China’s future of sustainable tourism on June 5, 2012.
Located in the south of East China's Anhui province, the mountain joined the GSTC in October 2010 and Mt.Huangshan became its first Asian member”
UNESCO Appreciates Mt. Huangshan World Geological Park
Pub Date: 12-08-16 15:06 Source: www.cnanhui.org
Huangshan Mountain World Geological Park was subject to the second development appraisal by a panel of experts from August 9 to 11, 2012. The international tourism experts, from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), highly appreciated local relevant parties' protection ideas and their efforts in tourism management, science popularization and introduction of the park.
As stipulated by the UNESCO, all world geological parks should be appraised every four years. Dr. Frey from UNESCO Global Geoparks Network Bureau said Mountain Huangshan's experience will be promoted at the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) Berlin next year.”
Total Tourism Revenue of Huangshan Exceeds 30 billion RMB
Pub Date: 13-01-09 14:33 Source: www.cnanhui.org
“Huangshan received tourists of 36 million person/times with total tourism revenue exceeding 30 billion Yuan in 2012, according to 1st Conference of 6th Huangshan Municipal Congress January 8, 2013. The inbound tourists hit 1.6 million person/times with tourism revenue of 480 million USD….Last year, Huangshan rolled out more than 10 excellent tourism routes. Huangshan built a service network for self-driving traveling characterized by "one center and 11 sub-campsites".
In conclusion, watch this video by National Geographic “Geotourism: The Future of Travel”
Learn about a new way of travel that combines the pleasure of tourism with the preservation of our world's distinctive places.